By Jenelle Franklin
With assistance from student development and activities, Elisabeth Thoburn, Washtenaw Community College instructor and arts club advisor was able to bring in Rick Zuccarini, a trained fresco artist, and his wife Debbie to assist him to WCC on Sept. 12, 2016.
Students of ART131, art appreciation through museum experience, and other attendees learned tips from Zuccarini like, “When you paint, you paint with the tip of your brush.”
“Fresco is really an ancient technique which is known and practiced in Italy and throughout Europe, but in America, not so much, ” Thoburn said.
“Diego Rivera, a fresco master spent months working on that huge piece in Detroit, and while there he trained locals. These locals trained the next locals, and so we have a second -generation trained local coming, who is now one of the few fresco masters around,” Thoburn said.
ART131 is all about experiencing art through hands on learning, Thoburn explained, and all 20 students were given spots to attend the lecture and workshop sessions, which were approximately two hours each.
“Anybody can paint, to get a fresco you have to have someone who knows plaster,” Zuccarini said at the workshop.
After a successful hands-on experience at Madonna University last year, Zuccarini was invited to campus and will be leading a tour of Rivera Court at the Detroit Institute of Arts in October.
The Zuccarini’s travel often for their workshops, with three typically held per year at Madonna University and this being their first trip to WCC.
“We all walked out saying ‘this is the best thing we have done in a long time,’” Thoburn said.
Thoburn got an immediately positive response from participants and started planning how to bring this experience to the WCC community.
Those who attended the lecture and workshop will be heading to the DIA on Oct. 9 at 10 a.m.
All lecture and workshop participants are invited to join the tour of the exhibit, but are requested to provide their own transportation if not a student of ART131.